by B.J. Delas Armas on 8/13/2003 08:43:00 AM 0 comments Print this post

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History of Garbage

So this morning I was knocked out in a state of homeostasis when at 6 in the morning the perenially loud-ass garbage truck awakened and forced me to fight back for my state of peacefulness. I was tired anyway so I knocked out. But the truck wasn't finished because it didn't even pick up the trash on my side of the street.

At 7:20 A.M., the truck returned for more. And after a long fight to keep that state of homeostasis, here I am an hour later in the morning slightly groggy trying to blog about this. The truck bothering me is nothing new.

The weekly garbage run does not upset me because it's expected and I know, in the words of 'Yell, the garbage dude's "just doing his job." I even talk from time to time about how I'd enjoy such a job as being a garbage man because in the words of the Office Space punks, I'd be "makin' bucks, gettin' exercise." On top of that, I'd also actually be an actual productive member of society. But what intrigues me most is the mystery of garbage collecting. I've always wondered where the hell these garbage trucks came from and how they were developed, so I present: a timeline history of garbage and a history of garbage trucks !

(Thanks to Tigerdude for the pictures.)


The first covered garbage trucks in the 1930s which was also the first to use hydraulics to dump the trash off somewhere. It was first made in Britain in the 1920's where the population density was/is much greater.


However, the garbage guys always had to tirelessly lift the trash. So this "external hopper" was created for easy loading circa the 1930s and used in the 1940s and 50s. But they were quickly replaced by rear loader compactors because of efficiency.


Here's a local ad for an 'external hopper' garbage truck in South Pasadena.


This is an earlier version of the side loader circa the 1950s that comes every week to bother me and pick up the trash.


This is the front-end loader that is known and loved today with its concept taken from those beloved external hopper trucks.

I skipped a few trucks because I didn't think they were that interesting, but you can check more of them out right about. . . . . . . . . . . .here.

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